Prince George’s County Executive promises jail, fines for large house parties

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is promising “swift action” against large house parties that threaten to accelerate the spread of COVID-19.

The announcement was made one day after FOX 5 reported on one such massive pool party. Video posted on social media showed hundreds of party attendees in close quarters at the home of former Maryland State Senator Tommie Broadwater.

READ MORE: Massive pool parties being held in Prince George's County amid pandemic

The executive announced on Thursday that anyone who hosts or attends these gatherings will be subject to a misdemeanor charge that carries a sentence of up to one year behind bars, a $1,000 fine, or both.

The Broadwater Mansion, according to Alsobrooks, has been shut down altogether.

Alsobrooks cited Maryland state contact tracing data – which shows that family gatherings and large outdoor gatherings combined account for 67 percent of transmissions.

READ MORE: Maryland expands masks order to all public spaces; will remain in phase 2

According to the county executive, Prince George’s County – once home to the most highly concentrated outbreak in the state – has made enormous strides in the battle against the virus.

Alsobrooks pointed to the benchmark of a 5.3 percent positivity rate as evidence of the results.

She cautioned, however, that a slight uptick to 5.8 percent is a cause for concern and a reminder that the virus is maintaining a presence in the county.

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The county executive applauded the efforts of the vast majority of Prince George’s County. According to Alsobrooks, the county’s COVID-19 Ambassador teams have visited more than 200 businesses, and closed just one. None of the remaining businesses were so much as fined.